I usually ignore popular tragedies such as the latest terror attacks in Paris, precisely because they are popular. For a few days it becomes fashionable to express solidarity with the victims regardless of how one feels and politicians, the heartless creatures without a shadow of empathy, come forward and offer fake condolences. I prefer to tune out.
There are plenty of ordinary people who do sincerely feel the tragedy, of course, but all I notice about them is spamming twitter and news feeds with endless RIPs, which becomes a meaningless information. What do they think they contribute? Do they think at all? Nope, they just want to see their name and avatar up there with everyone else.
This time, however, I want to say something about this terror and get it off my chest. I would probably lack empathy here myself, I haven’t read the detailed accounts of the tragedy yet, I don’t feel it, it’s still only news to me. TBH, I hope the news cycle moves onto something else before I realize the full horror of this experience for someone who went through it. It would be unsettling, the mind would go crazy and would be impossible to control, and I don’t want that.
Does it make me insensitive? Probably, but I’d rather stick with our ācāryas then join in mass psychosis. People, however, expect us to put our religion aside for a while and get serious. Of course “serious” is what they feel, they don’t care how it feels to devotees, or to any rational, level-headed person out there.
This time they might break out of the mold but typically what happens next is this – people unite in grief, they select an icon, maybe a song or a “Je suis Charlie” slogan, they march around, display their unity, and then slowly resume their lives. Experience changes them but nothing useful comes out of it, especially from Kṛṣṇa consciousness POV.
So far it goes according to the plan, at least on the politicians’ side. Three days of mourning have been declared, ISIS has been blamed, fight has been declared, and world leaders sent condolences and messages of outrage. Next should be marching and uniting around something symbolic. “Friday the 13th” is probably not the best choice, though.
They might have the biggest march in Paris ever, the Americans will probably send someone important for a change, and they might even let Putin walk along for a while, but then what? It hasn’t been a year since the last march, what’s the point of all this walking?
“Unity”, they say, that will show them. That will show them what? They have seen it all already, not impressed. I think they have these marches to convince themselves rather than send a message to terrorists. Terrorists have already got it, big march means they need a bigger response, because marching crowds are not very good listeners.
Unity means lack of diversity and intolerance of other ideas. It would be impossible to talk about these attacks with an attitude different from the one adopted by the marching society, just as it’s impossible to talk about 9/11 in the US without expressing pain for the innocent victims. The discussion on why Al-Qaeda didn’t think they were innocent but legitimate targets is impossible unless one takes a firm position that they were innocent first. Same is happening in France now and same thing happened in Charlie Hebdo attacks, too.
Unity means it’s “you either with us or against us” moment, and they don’t pause for a second to realize that it makes them look just like the Bush they love to hate so much. When Bush said it he was reckless and stupid, when they say it you’d better toe the line and do it quick, no hesitation allowed.
Logic, reason, cool head – those things get forgotten, they remember them only when it’s time to bash religionists. Oh well, human nature is prone to such mistakes, can’t blame them, but then they wake up next day and start droning how their “scientific method” has eliminated human subjectivity.
When they were walking around with “Je suis Charlie” they didn’t want to hear how their enemies will not take it gladly and will retaliate with great force, now that time has come, it happened, and they are going for exactly the same response hoping that this time the result will be different. It won’t, it would only escalate because they haven’t addressed the root causes of their problems.
It’s Kali yuga, people can’t control their senses, they want things beyond what is ordained by their karma, they want more than the Lord has provided, and so there’s a great imbalance in the world between resources and demands. Then they naturally clash because resources are limited and their demands overlap. Islamists have big appetites, too, everyone is affected. They want to live in Europe and enjoy European standards of living and when they don’t get them they lash out at their hosts, and they don’t even treat them as hosts anymore but as service providers.
French and other Europeans, for their part, invented this multicultural, democratic utopia that doesn’t exist. They do not realize that the whole world can’t live like them. They built their empires on the backs of Africans, Arabs, and Indians so that they get to enjoy fruits of labor provided by black and brown skinned people. I don’t have numbers for Europe but it is often said that Americans have only 5% of world population and consume 25% of world’s resources. It is obviously impossible for the other 95% to have the same level of consumption, and yet this is what “democracy” and “multiculturalism” implies. Nope, only selected few can afford to live like that, the rest must be excluded. Of course “multiculturalism” is not about economics per se but its underlying assumption is that they can provide same economic benefits to all regardless of their cultures.
Or we can look at immediate causes of these attacks – revenge for bombing ISIS in Syria. And how did this ISIS become so big that it’s necessary to bomb them? Because French (and Americans, of course) wanted to overthrow the SECULAR regime of Bashar al Assad there and got regional Arabs to sponsor anti-Assad forces, which they did – by inviting all kinds of jihadists and arming them to the teeth. French were cheering this war all along, on the jihadist side, and now it turned back on them just like Bin Laden did to Americans. The history only repeats itself with minor variations.
And now they report that the symbol has been chosen – an Eiffel Tower fashioned as a peace sign. I wonder if they’ll be ready to march by Sunday.
Hmm, they are dong stupid things and harm themselves in the long term but they really really want it – that’s how karma works, and there’s no escape.
There’s no solution to this crisis, both sides are intent on consuming the whole world and it’s simply impossible, and they are not going to curb their appetites either.